CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2018 announced

Corel has updated its CorelDraw Graphics Suite with new design and photo-editing capabilities as well as improvements to its overall workflow, in what Corel says is the biggest update in many versions.

The CorelDraw 2018 Graphics Suite is said to be a major update to this venerable design software package.

There are a number of new features, including a Symmetry drawing mode that allows users to create a range of symmetrical designs in real-time. There’s a new Add Perspective effect that can be used to quickly create the illusion of distance and depth by applying perspective to bitmaps, vector objects, or both directly in the drawing window. Corel has also improved other tools, including the Impact tool, which can add movement or focus to an element in a drawing, Pointillizer, for creating high-quality vector mosaics from vector and bitmap objects, and PhotoCocktail for producing photo collages.

There’s a new interactive Block Shadow tool for adding solid vector shadows to objects and text. A new option lets you align nodes using the bounding box of a selection, the page edge or page centre, the closest grid line, or a specified point. You can add equal spacing between nodes horizontally or vertically.

There are a number of new tools for photo editing. These include the ability to straighten photos and to correct for perspective distortion interactively, useful for tidying up buildings that appear to be falling over if photographed from close-up. Edits to be raw images can be rolled back and you can make high dynamic range (HDR) images (though in my experience nothing beats doing this properly with a tripod and combining multiple images).

Corel has also improved its artificial intelligence LiveSketch tool and claims that you can now draw as naturally on a computer as with pen and paper. There’s more support for pen and stylus devices on tablets where you can now use pressure to vary the size of the eraser nib, link the tilt and bearing to flatness and rotation and flip the stylus or pen to activate the Eraser tool. There’s also support now for Microsoft Surface Dial.

Corel also seems to have improved the overall productivity with customised curve previews, updated vector previews, redesigned fill and transparency pickers, and new Toggle snapping to speed up the overall pace.

There’s a useful Project Timer tool that’s said to help users keep track of the amount of time spent on a project to ensure that they bill for the amount of work done. You can also send work directly to a WordPress media library to publish online.

The graphics suite is made up of a number of programs including CorelDraw, for vector illustration and page layout, plus PowerTrace, for bitmap-to-vector tracing. There’s also PhotoPaint, for image editing, Font Manager, for working with fonts, Connect, for finding content, Capture, for making screen shots, AfterShot 3 HDR, for editing raw photo files, and BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 4, a plug-in for enlarging digital images. It also comes with a huge selection of clipart, digital photos and fonts, as well as 2,000 vehicle templates that can be used for vehicle graphics.

John Falsetto, senior director of Products, CorelDRAW and Productivity, commented: “No matter your industry or background, everyone working with graphics has the same essential wish list. How can I design without boundaries, deliver a final product that will make an impact, and of course, do it all on deadline?”

It’s available now with either a perpetual license for £600 (or £300 to upgrade from previous versions) as well as on a subscription basis for £200 per year. However, you can down a 15 day trial for free from coreldraw.com.

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